The use of cannabis during pregnancy has seen a significant rise among women in the United States, according to recent government research. In 2016-17, around 7% of pregnant women, or 1 in 14, used cannabis in the past month. This rate has doubled since 2002-03 when only a little over 3 percent of pregnant women reported using cannabis.
Potential Risks and Concerns
Using cannabis during pregnancy raises concerns due to potential adverse effects on the mother and the developing fetus. Cannabis use during pregnancy is linked to a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Additionally, animal studies have shown that high doses of cannabis during early pregnancy can lead to fetal brain abnormalities. However, it’s essential to note that the extent of these risks in human pregnancies is not yet fully understood.
Expert Insight: Dr. Nora Volkow’s Perspective
Dr. Nora Volkow cautions against using marijuana during pregnancy. She advises avoiding cannabis use during pregnancy due to uncertain potential harm. Better to err on the side of caution. While studies provide valuable insights, more research is necessary to determine the exact risks and effects.
In a groundbreaking revelation, the study, presented at a prominent medical conference and published in the esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association, uncovered crucial patterns. First-trimester cannabis use experienced a significant increase, rising from almost 6 percent to 12 percent. Many women may have used cannabis before realizing they were pregnant or might have used it to alleviate morning sickness. Surprisingly, only a few women reported receiving recommendations from doctors to use cannabis during pregnancy. Among non-pregnant women, the rate of cannabis use also increased from almost 7 percent to nearly 12 percent, or approximately 1 in 8 women.
Regulations and Future Research
Based on health surveys of nearly half a million U.S. women, the research coincided with marijuana legalization in various states for medical or recreational use. It’s important to note that while marijuana is legal for both uses in ten states, it remains illegal at the federal level. The editorial accompanying the study emphasizes the need for more comprehensive and rigorous research on cannabis use during pregnancy. However, the progress in this area has been hindered by U.S. government restrictions on marijuana research, a pressing issue that needs addressing.
As the prevalence of cannabis use among pregnant women in the United States continues to rise, it becomes crucial to be mindful of the potential risks and uncertainties associated with its use during pregnancy. Until further research provides a clearer picture, the medical community advises caution and avoidance of cannabis use during pregnancy to ensure the best possible outcomes for both the mother and the baby. Read our article we published some time ago.